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Old 2016-09-01, 04:39   #78
LaurV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xyzzy View Post
.
Translation, please!
(nice one!)

Here is my current 400ml coffee mug (present from the little ms LaurV about 7-8 years ago), actually on my desk, filled with... water. Trying to reduce the amount of coffee I ingest daily. Sorry, but after a certain age... haha...

"Perfect PC Coffee" - coffee with a BYTE
Look to that clock! (it says 2:30 AM)
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Old 2016-09-02, 17:08   #79
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Today I learned that a Greek word for bird is πουλί. (IPA: /puˈli/)

So naturally I immediately thought that Polly the parrot might have gotten Polly from πουλί but my brief look contradicts that:
Mental Floss: Why Do We Call Parrots "Polly"?
tl;dr A character, Sir Politic, or Pol, ingratiates himself by "mimicking words and behavior."

I don't know if this is definitive but even so, I have an effective mnemonic all the same. Etymology traces Polly to a pet (inadvertent pun) name for Molly.

p.s. I just remembered that French poulet, meaning chicken, is close too. Wiktionary: IPA(key): /pu.lɛ/ "Since Old French, from poule ‎(“hen”) +‎ -et {diminutive suffix)."

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2016-09-02 at 17:36 Reason: s/the Greek word/a Greek word/ also Polly from Molly. added IPA. added French poulet.
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Old 2016-09-03, 00:24   #80
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....and in the US, and perhaps in other English-speaking places, a pullet is a young hen, just starting to lay.
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Old 2016-09-03, 02:54   #81
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In Romanian, a (young) chicken is a "pui" (with u as in "pull", or "cook", "food", etc, and i as in "yen", "yet") which in Romanian is always masculine gender (no matter if the chicken is a "she", which is actually the case most of the time, as the farmers will keep/raise the hens, and not the roosters). Also used by a mother to call her son, or by a female to call her male lover. Also a proper first name for boys sometime. Last two not so common in the last years. [edit: see for example Puiu Calinescu, a great Romanian actor and comedian, who died in 97; textually his first name is translated as "the chicken", or "the dear", "darling", the "u" at the end is the definite article, same as English "the"].

This reminds me a story told by friends who emigrated in France. They had a little girl (about 4 years old) who was leaving with them in France and going to school (kindergarten) there, and when they came back to visit the grannies, who had a chicken farm somewhere in Romania, the little girl was almost immediately and totally attached to her grandfather, a very funny and shy old man (around 70 years old).

The little girl was talking French at school, but Romanian at home, and sometimes she was mixing both of them in speaking (what our daughter also did badly, mixing English, Romanian, Thai and Chinese, in her first years, but now she can speak very well all of them). Once, intending to visit the chicken farm, the little girl asked the grandfather in Romanian "grandpa, can you show your 'poule' to me"? (the link is NSFW). Grandpa's face was red with anger and he immediately went to my friends "What the hack are you idiots teaching this girl in that country there?" (this is not a joke, but still is extremely funny).

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2016-09-03 at 03:04
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Old 2016-09-03, 07:51   #82
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Funny indeed! I hope grandpa calmed down when he understood the cross-language situation.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2016-09-03 at 07:51
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Old 2016-09-10, 00:25   #83
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
....and in the US, and perhaps in other English-speaking places, a pullet is a young hen, just starting to lay.
Allegedly the "first egg!" is the basis of the Pullet Surprise in journalism.

More 'spotted in the wild' German compound nounage - on the address label of a padded mailer containing a used-DVD set shipped to me from Germany: Zollbestimmungserklärung. As long as the whole Greek alphabet you are, my lovely.
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Old 2016-09-10, 07:25   #84
Dubslow
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On that tangent, I often find myself wishing to make my writing clearer by hyphenating a bunch of adjectives and nouns together to aid with parsing (because as we know, parsing English sentences can sometimes be quite an obtuse task).

At such times do I wish I could get away with just smashing them together without bothering with the hyphen(s). Oh well.
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Old 2016-09-10, 21:11   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubslow View Post
On that tangent, I often find myself wishing to make my writing clearer by hyphenating a bunch of adjectives and nouns together to aid with parsing (because as we know, parsing English sentences can sometimes be quite an obtuse task).

At such times do I wish I could get away with just smashing them together without bothering with the hyphen(s). Oh well.
Your mean, e.g., "make my writing clearer by bunch-of-adjectives-and-nouns-hyphenating-together-to-aid-with-parsing" - that sort of thing? Yes, I use that a lot myself.
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Old 2016-09-14, 07:29   #86
LaurV
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Ha! My heart is not so sunken since I (re)discovered that German has actually a(n almost) similar problem with its ordinals equal with or over 20

(I learned that lesson long time ago, but it didn't occur to me, till today when Duo asked me to review the (forgotten) topics, which she does periodically for words you don't use for a while).
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Old 2016-09-14, 22:42   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
Ha! My heart is not so sunken since I (re)discovered that German has actually a(n almost) similar problem with its ordinals equal with or over 20

(I learned that lesson long time ago, but it didn't occur to me, till today when Duo asked me to review the (forgotten) topics, which she does periodically for words you don't use for a while).
Numbers are tricksy. I read that the numbers around 70 in French add difficulty for people who are tasked with simultaneous translation.

In the fifth grade, some enterprise tried to sell my school district on their speed reading techniques. In the demonstration they flashed a long number and asked people to say what it was. Of course there are several difficulties with that including needing to count digits to get the magnitude right. Then they gave their speed reading pep talk and some dubious mental techniques and then flashed the phrase "in the window," which is an extremely easy to read prepositional phrase. Other than the first two words being extremely short, the third word is easily recognised by its shape configuration. Shape configuration is part of how sign language users recognize fast fingerspelling.
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Old 2016-09-15, 01:13   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
Ha! My heart is not so sunken since I (re)discovered that German has actually a(n almost) similar problem with its ordinals equal with or over 20

(I learned that lesson long time ago, but it didn't occur to me, till today when Duo asked me to review the (forgotten) topics, which she does periodically for words you don't use for a while).
The fun actually starts beyond 12, not 20:

11 - elf
12 - zwölf
13 - dreizehn ("three-ten")
...
19 - neunzehn
20 - zwanzig
21 - einundzwanzig ("one-and-twenty"), etc.

It's very interesting watching a German speaker write down e.g. a phone number as they hear it, because the ordinals-reversed convention is compounded by the habit that the preference when reciting a string on digits is to group them into pairs, except for a dangling leading or trailing digit in the case of an odd-length string. So the party taking down the spoken digit string will pause and wait for the 2nd (leading) digit of each such pair and then jot down the pair, usually left-to-right (IIRC). Speculating freely, I wonder if this self-inflicted difficulty may have been involved in the operator 'sloppiness' that allowed the Brits to crack the WW2 Enigma code.

Still an improvement on the Roman system, though. :) (The People's Front of Judea - or was it the Judean People's Front? - frequently mocks the Romans for their inane and inefficient numerals system, while admitting that they did give us the aqueduct, the library, safe streets at night, etc.)
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